Northern Ireland storms: Power cuts after severe weather

Fallen trees Trees in Ormeau Park, Belfast, were brought down by the high winds
Shopper A shopper battles against the elements in Belfast city centre
Cyclist's path blocked This cyclist had his path blocked by fallen trees in Ormeau Park, Belfast
Fallen tree This tree was uprooted by the wind in Belfast city centre
Tractor A tractor moves in to remove trees brought down in Ormeau Park, Belfast

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Around 1,300 customers are without electricity after a day of strong winds and heavy rain.

Ferry sailings have also been cancelled, and there have been some flight delays as well.

All main roads are open, but Clifton Street in Belfast is closed due to an unsecured building.

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) have warned around 1,300 homes in isolated areas may remain without electricity overnight.

The company estimates that power has now been restored to around 33,000 customers.

Fallen trees have blocked a number of minor roads after winds gusted up to 75mph.

P&O's 07:30 GMT ferry crossings from Larne to Cairnryan in both directions were cancelled.

P&O resumed sailings at 10:30 GMT, but there will be a backlog of traffic because of previous cancellations.

Also cancelled was Stena's 10:30 GMT sailing from Belfast to Liverpool.

Repairs

All of Friday's crossings between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle, County Antrim, have been cancelled.

NIE engineers are working to restore power to affected customers after winds broke electricity poles and brought down trees across power lines.

pylons NIE said it restored power to 30,000 customers overnight

Julia Carson, NIE communications manager, said: "We have engineers and emergency crews currently working in difficult weather conditions.

"Since last night we have restored power to over 30,000 customers and are continuing to assess the damage and carry out repairs to over 250 weather-related faults on the electricity network in counties Down, Armagh and Antrim.

"The winds are starting to ease in the east, allowing the repair process to continue in most areas.

"However, as the weather warning is in place until this evening, we may see further damage to the network."

Diversions

Customers who lose electricity should call the NIE customer helpline on 08457 643643 or report the fault online at nie.co.uk.

There were some flight diversions from Belfast City Airport to Belfast International Airport on Thursday night, and passengers at both airports are advised to check their flight details on Friday.

The Foyle Bridge in Londonderry had been closed to high-sided vehicles on Thursday but is now reopened to all traffic.

A Met Office severe weather warning remains in place until 23:55 GMT on Friday.

Meanwhile, the severe weather in the Republic of Ireland has left about 30,000 customers without power, and the Irish meteorological service, Met Éireann, has forecast winds of up to 80mph for places on Friday.

Counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Leitrim and Sligo should expect gale force winds and gusts.

Flights were also delayed from leaving Dublin Airport for a time, and some transatlantic flights were diverted to either Heathrow or Manchester airports. A number of Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to the UK were also cancelled.

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